Equality Michigan

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Equality Michigan
Equality Michigan logo
Map of USA MI.svg
U.S. State of Michigan
Area served
Key people
Stephanie White, executive director
$695,922 (2010)[1]
Formerly called
Michigan Organization for Human Rights, Triangle Foundation, and Michigan Equality

Equality Michigan is an American civil rights, advocacy and anti-violence organization serving Michigan's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Equality Michigan serves Michigan's LGBT community through victims services, lobbying on behalf of the LGBT community, public education on LGBT issues, and organizing Michigan's largest LGBT events such as Motor City Pride. The organization is a founding member of the Equality Federation.[2]


In 1991, the Triangle Foundation was founded by Jeffrey Montgomery, Henry D. Messer, and John Monahan as an anti-violence organization.[3] Triangle Foundation expanded its mission in 1994 to include political and policy work following the closure of the Michigan Organization for Human Rights. Michigan Equality was founded by activist Beth Bashert in 1999, following successful electoral campaign efforts in support of LGBT rights in seven Michigan cities, including Ypsilanti, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Huntington Woods, and others.[4] Triangle Foundation merged with Michigan Equality to create Equality Michigan in 2010.[2]


Equality Michigan Action Fund
Equality Michigan Action Fund logo
Formerly called
Triangle Foundation Action Fund and Michigan Equality
Equality Michigan Pride PAC
Equality Michigan Pride PAC logo
Formerly called
Michigan Pride PAC, Triangle Pride PAC, and Michigan Equality PAC

Equality Michigan, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the primary organization using the Equality Michigan brand. Equality Michigan Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with, but independent from, Equality Michigan. The Equality Michigan Pride PAC is a political action committee (PAC) affiliated with, but independent from, the Equality Michigan Action Fund.

Victim services program[edit]

Equality Michigan's Victim Services Program documents and addresses the pervasive problem of violence committed against the actual or perceived LGBT and HIV-affected communities. Victim Services offers free and confidential support to victims of bias crimes, domestic violence, pick-up crimes, police misconduct, HIV-related violence, rape, and sexual assault. In addition, Equality Michigan provides accompaniments and advocacy for clients with the police, the courts, medical, and social service agencies. The organization works to get legal services offered at a reduced fee for low-income clients and help clients tell their story in order to raise awareness about the incidents that occurred to them. Data collected through this program is published annually through the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs[5] - which Triangle Foundation co-founded.[6]

Policy program[edit]

Equality Michigan works to enact policy and legislative changes in Michigan to promote equality for LGBT people in such areas as housing and employment, prevent hate crimes, and to stop anti-LGBT legislation and similar measures from being introduced.

Community events[edit]

Equality Michigan's community events are intended to bring together and build the Michigan LGBT community.

Equality Michigan in the 2012 Parade.

Motor City Pride[edit]

An annual Pride street festival held in Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan the second Saturday and Sunday of every June to celebrate the LGBT community. Previously held in Ferndale, Michigan, the festival moved to Detroit in 2011.[7] It is the largest LGBT event held in Michigan. The event showcases both local and national performers including Nickki Stevens, The Fundamentals.

Michigan LGBT ComedyFest[edit]

ComedyFest is an annual comedy festival featuring national comedians held in Dearborn, Michigan for the LGBT community.[8] Comedians performing have included Sean Hetherington (2005), René Hicks (2006), Ian Harvie (2009), and Julie Goldman (2014).[9]

Equality Michigan Annual Dinner Event[edit]

Equality Michigan's Annual Dinner Event begins with a cocktail reception with a silent auction. The dinner features a keynote speaker and the presentation of "Catalyst Awards" recognizing individuals and organizations for excellence in service to Michigan's LGBT community. The event is attended by several community leaders and elected officials. Past speakers have included:[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Education and outreach[edit]

Equality Michigan provides diversity trainings on social and political LGBT issues. This program also educates politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and law enforcement professionals about issues related to the LGBT community.

Catalyst Awards[edit]

Each year at their annual dinner, the organization presents awards, called Catalyst Awards, to individuals, groups or organizations advocating for LGBT persons in Michigan. Some awards named after individuals, such as the Henry D. Messer Youth Activist Award, are given multiple years to honor specific types of actions.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

Past Catalyst Award recipients[edit]

Some past recipients of a Catalyst Award include:[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Triangle Foundation, Inc. AKA Equality Michigan". GuideStar Charity Check. GuideStar. Retrieved February 28, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Carreras, Jessica (2010-05-20). "Equality Michigan steps out". Between The Lines. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Emily Betwee; Janna Williamson; Carrie Hintz & Beth Noyes (2019-05-31). "Triangle Foundation records 1987-2007". quod.lib.umich.edu. Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  4. ^ Amy L. Stone, "Gay Rights at the Ballot Box," Minneapolis MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2012, p110.
  5. ^ Bennett, Brandon (December 2, 2005). "Out at the Movies". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Capital News Service. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
  6. ^ Glassman, Anthony (July 20, 2007). "Home violence reports drop in Central Ohio". Gay People's Chronicle. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
  7. ^ "2011 Motor City Pride gets bigger, louder than ever before". Between The Lines. February 17, 2011. Retrieved April 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "March 5 gay-lesbian comedy festival in Dearborn". WLNS-TV. Retrieved March 17, 2011.[dead link]
  9. ^ "Pasty ComedyFest Events". ComedyFest. Archived from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  10. ^ Stevenson, Jan (May 6, 2004). "Activists, politicians gather at Triangle dinner". Between The Lines. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
  11. ^ a b c d Fortune, Cornelius A. (October 5, 2006). "12th Annual Triangle Foundation Dinner: an evening of politics and hope". Between the Lines. Dearborn, Michigan. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  12. ^ a b c d e Michael, Jason A. (October 4, 2007). "Triangle dinner a tribute to departing Montgomery". Between the Lines. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c "Triangle State Dinner to focus on 'Heart of Movement'". Between the Lines. October 9, 2008. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d e "State Equality Dinner award winners announced". Between the Lines. Dearborn, Michigan. September 29, 2011. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Equality Michigan Announces Catalyst Award Winners". Between the Lines. October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "Catalyst Awards". Equality Michigan. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  17. ^ a b c Stevenson, Jan (February 27, 2014). "Gala Celebrates Progress, Mourns Founder". Between the Lines. Detroit. Retrieved March 13, 2014.

External links[edit]